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Northwest SARCon Session Descriptions

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Field-exercise departure times may be earlier than the start time noted in the brochure and online -- verify your field exercise departure time and meeting location, posted at conference registration.


Friday, Sept. 25, 2015

MORNING: NW SARCon Hosted Breakfast
7:30 – 9 a.m.
Camp Kuratli Activity Center

Dr. Christopher Van TilburgOpening Remarks
9 – 9:30 a.m.

Risk in SAR Operations
Dr. Christopher Van Tilburg
9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Using case studies from Hood River County's Crag Rats mountain rescue team and international rescues, Dr. Christopher Van Tilburg will discuss mitigating risk in SAR operations. Risk manifests in both dangerous, tense situations and simple missions in which rescuers let their guard down. Key components for discussion include:
• How much training is required to stay current?
• How does one stay physically and mentally fit?
• How has modern equipment and telecommunications changed risk recently?
• How cognition can be impaired by adrenaline and endorphins
• The problems of group dynamics; and
• Deciding to abort a mission before objective is completed

EVENING: Northwest SARCon Vendor Evening
5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Cascade Activity Center
Sponsored by the 2015 Northwest SARCon vendors, this event will feature food catered by Busy Bee Catering, beverages, and great door prizes. Show up early and stay late for your chance to win search-and-rescue gear furnished by the conference sponsors and vendors. This event is always a hit with conference participants! Don’t forget to wear your name badge to enter this event.

SAR Management

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1A)
Risks and Safety in Rope Rescue -- A Primer for Managers and Supervisors
Craig McClure and Eduardo Cartaya
"They’re going to do WHAT?" Rope rescue can be a high-consequence activity -- but performed properly, it can also be a safe activity. In this session, McClure and Cartaya will discuss what best practices are as a manager -- plus safety factors, equipment management, and how to spot operational red flags.

1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (2A)
Approaching Alzheimer's: Make Your First Response the Right Response

Sarah Holland, MSW, MPH
The Alzheimer's disease epidemic continues to grow. As a first responder, it is critical to be ready to face it in your community. The "Approaching Alzheimer's" class was developed in conjunction with the first-responder community with adult learning principles in mind. The training covers four common situations when you encounter a person with Alzheimer's: wandering, driving, abuse and neglect, and disaster response.


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1B)
Bleeding: Trauma Management in the Field
304th Rescue Squadron
In most situations, uncontrolled bleeding can lead to serious consequences for search and rescue. This session will teach how to control trauma and bleeding in a field environment. Techniques and treatments will be explored, and field-tested methods will be revealed by the elite military medics of the 304th Rescue Squadron. The Air Force Pararescuemen will be available to demonstrate their skills and explore different options to treating trauma in the field. This session will be repeated on Sunday, Sept. 27 from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (FE-1B) Field Exercise
Basic Rescue Knots
Marcel Rodriguez
This class will cover the basic knots used by ground searchers to move in a low- and steep-angle environment. This hands-on class will cover how to properly tie the knots, as well as when and how they are used in rescue scenarios. The session will cover knots in rope and webbing, as well as expedient harnesses. This is a beginner-level course, and all equipment is provided. Class size is limited to 25 participants.

1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (2B) Classroom and Field Exercise
Track and Clue Awareness Basics
Skip Stoffel
This half-day workshop will be split between classroom and practical field work. The workshop begins with an academic classroom session a little over an hour in length, with the remainder of time being spent in the field with noses and knees in the dirt. Track and Clue Awareness (TCA) involves an understanding of both vision basics and the concepts related to target orientation and searcher technique. TCA involves a lot more than searchers expect -- and requires many more observation and visual skills than normally addressed in a straightforward man-tracking course.
Track and Clue Awareness is a discipline (essentially a methodology) and a skillset for effectively and efficiently processing all sign (or evidence/clues) that relate to a specific SAR incident or site. The ultimate goal of this training is to find people faster by maximizing every opportunity to detect meaningful clues, evidence and travel-vector indications.
TCA also means discovering what activities occurred at a specific site (point of departure, crime scene, trail junctions, campsites, etc.). While TCA does involve the skill of tracking, it also more importantly deals with clue and scene processing. It means correctly and efficiently processing any site (a vehicle, campsite, a discarded item, LKP, etc.). It is knowing where to search and what to search for (clues, top sign and any evidence, not just tracks). The skill means analyzing what is discovered. TCA is both an investigative (strategy) and an operational (tactic) search tool.

1:30 – 3:30 p.m. (FE-2B) Field Exercise
VOO-DOO MAGIC: Various Ways to Use the "Voo-Doo" System
Patrick Bentley and Eric Gunnerson
This session is designed to be fun and fast-paced while focused toward building upon basic knots knowledge. After reviewing the basic knots, the class will move into how to build a "voo-doo" system using knots covered and the many various uses for this system. This class is for both basic and professional SAR members. Attendees will be "learning by doing" and are expected to participate in the hands-on exercises. Class size is limited to 25 participants. Basic PPE required: helmet, harness, gloves, eye protection, and 3 carabineers.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (3B)
Ultralight Gear and Techniques for SAR Applications
Mike Maurer and David Weil
In this session, Maurer and Weil will spend 90 minutes exploring the use of ultralight weight strategies, techniques, and equipment suitable for SAR missions.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (3Ba)
Basic Avalanche Awareness
Portland Mountain Rescue
Dave Clarke
In this session, Clarke, Rescue Leader of Portland Mountain Rescue, will give an introduction to avalanche safety, avalanche science, recognizing avalanche terrain and the recent research into human factors and decision-making in avalanche terrain.


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1C)
Promoting Your Team Online: How to Use Social Media and the Web to Help Your Search
Nathan Thompson and Mike Russell
In this course, Sgt. Thompson and Mike Russell will draw on their experiences in the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Public Information Unit to give you ideas for using various social-media tools -- including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram -- to promote your team, aid in searches, and educate the public about SAR efforts. They will also teach you various social-media pitfalls to avoid. Smart use of the web and free social-media tools can lead to better communication, teamwork, search results and public awareness of and support for your SAR efforts.

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (2C)
Introduction to SARTopo
Matt Jacobs
SARTopo is a free, offline-capable mapping solution tailored specifically to search and rescue. Because SARTopo allows everyone, including field teams, to work off the same maps and data, it can improve situational awareness and operational efficiency. This session will show how to use SARTopo to quickly visualize terrain, generate 1:24k assignment maps and forms, preload segments to GPS, track field teams, filter and manage tracks, and log clues.

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (FE-2C) Field Exercise
Hands-on with Garmin GPS Devices
Bill Loud
In this field exercise, participants will have hands-on time with Garmin GPS devices under field conditions. Bring your own GPS or use a provided unit. Learn how to optimize accuracy and how manage Tracklogs and Waypoints. Get hands-on experience with advanced features like Sight 'N Go, Area Calculation, Data Field customization, Profiles and Wireless Sharing.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (3C)
SAR UAV Adoption and Uses
Lawrence Dennis
In this session, Aerial Technology International (ATI) will be presenting a summary of the current state of drone technology, various use cases, strengths and weaknesses. Part of the presentation will focus on suggested methods for use in SAR situations. ATI will provide its current system solutions developed in conjunction with Mountain Wave Emergency Communications. This session will be repeated on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1D) Part 1 of 2
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (2D) Part 2 of 2
Patient Assessment in a SAR Environment
Kerry Noland
Medical assessment in a wilderness emergency is an absolutely critical -- yet often underperformed -- part of a rescue. This popular session has been extended into two parts this year to ensure that students get a good base of knowledge to use in the later medical scenarios. Geared toward the volunteer rescuer or BLS provider, the session covers how to perform a basic medical assessment, determine how mentally intact a patient is, and ask the right questions. In addition, effective communication with a patient will be taught, as well as triage systems for multiple patients, and how to communicate your findings with medical professionals. This session is eligible for continuing-education credit.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (3D)
Fracture and Dislocation Management for Lost Subjects and Searcher
Garin Duffield
This session was developed as a result of many rescues involving orthopedic injuries -- broken bones, torn ligaments, and dislocations. This session is aimed at giving the volunteer or BLS rescuer the tools to appropriately assess and manage a range of injuries in the wilderness environment. Basic concepts such as spinal immobilization; extremity fractures; dislocations of the shoulder, hip, and patella; and pelvic immobilization will be discussed, and treatments demonstrated. Learn to use commercial splints as well as how to improvise with what you have in your pack. Students will get to apply their knowledge learned in this session in the medical-scenario sessions on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. This session is eligible for continuing education credit.


All K9 courses run Friday, Sept. 25 – Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015
from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Scent Discriminating Trailing Course
Colin Thielen and Luke Tessner
Spanning the entire three-day conference, this extended course provides hands-on immersion in the techniques of training the scent-specific trailing dog. This is a field-based training opportunity to build K9 teams that are training for operational success. Trails and skills are built from the experiences and actual casework of our diverse instructor staff. The techniques are offered in an open atmosphere to promote education, with a heavy emphasis on operational safety.
Attendees will learn all aspects of component training -- including collection and introduction of scent, scent theory, reading canine body language, and reward. Scenario and exposure-based training will also be offered. There will be evening PowerPoint presentations to include case reviews and training principles. This course is designed for dogs and handlers of all skill levels. This course is limited to 12 handlers and their K9 partners. Handlers will need to bring a leash, trailing line, harness, treats and a toy for their K9.

Cadaver Dog Training Course
Edwin Grant
During this three-day training track, dogs will be evaluated by levels of training and indications. Dogs will also be evaluated on a large and small source. Dogs and handlers will be assigned as beginner, intermediate and advanced groups. Dogs will be worked on (and/or introduced to) large sources of human material. Dogs that will be worked on larger sources will be dependent on ability and levels of training. Search locations will be open woods, fields, buildings, and vehicles.
Dogs will also be evaluated on beginning water work and advanced on ability and experience. Handlers will be instructed on proper search techniques on water, from the beginning of a water search until recovery. Boating search patterns will be a priority, along with the proper use of K9s on a water search and the use of handheld GPS. At the end of the weekend, handlers will be given the opportunity to work large sources on land and or boat. The handlers will be given the opportunity to certify for cadaver (land or water) through Objective First Tactical K9.
This course is limited to 9 handlers and their K9 partners. Handlers will need to bring lifejackets for water-training and any other equipment needed for water-training for their K9s.

Wilderness Air Scent (Non-Discriminatory)
Ian Gilbert-Ghormley and Tim Brown
"Wilderness Air Scent"is an introduction to air-scent K9 training. The goal of this course is to familiarize new and intermediate handlers with the basic aspects of K9 training and search technique. Topics to be covered include: runaways, rewards, alerts, scent theory, planning to work a search area, utilizing support, and leading teams on searches. Troubleshooting training problems will also be offered. This class is open for a limited number of people who want to learn how to be support for K9 teams and hiding subjects. The class is intended to instruct beginning to intermediate dog teams. Dogs should have strong obedience and be able to work off-lead.
Training will be catered to the handler and the K-9 based on experience to obtain the best possible return on your time. This course is limited to 6 handlers and their K9 partners. There will be training in different physical environments, so be sure to bring your full search backpack. Full field gear is required. Vaccinations should be current.

Enhanced SAR

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1F)
4WD 101
Ken Boell, Karl Ritchey, Dan Griffin and Chad Schroll
In this beginner course, Boell, Ritchey, Griffin and Schroll, with their combined experience with off-road vehicles, will discuss 4WD misconceptions, review basic 4WD equipment and capabilities, and list and discuss basic gear needed for 4WD search operations and vehicle communications.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1Fa)
Utilizing Mounted SAR Resources for SAR Managers and IC
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
During this session, experienced mounted-SAR instructors Adams and Beardsley will demonstrate to SAR managers how to maximize their results from mounted-SAR resources.

11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (FE-1F) Field Exercise
ASI ATV Safety Course
Justin Dersham and Joe Thorton

The ATV Rider Safety Course is designed to teach students the safety procedures and riding principles needed to ensure a rider is making safe use of his or her Class 1 ATV while operating it in the field. Participants will need a Class 1 ATV (4-wheeler / non-side-by-side), a DOT-approved helmet, full finger gloves, some type of eye protection (face shield or goggles), boots that cover the ankles, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants. Participants will also need to bring lunch and adequate hydration, as they will be in the field all afternoon. Class is limited to 8 participants.
Participants are encouraged to complete the online rider safety course and receive their Rider Education Card from the State prior to the class. The online course is available at
Successful completion of this course results in a ATV Safety certification from the ATV Safety Institute. Certification cards will be sent directly to the students by ASI.

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (2Fa)
Essential Mounted SAR Map and Compass Primer
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
In this introductory session, Adams and Beardsley bring mounted SAR team members to a uniform basic understanding and use of the vital tools of map and compass. The information taught in this session is critical for participation in the rest of the mounted modules at Northwest SARCon. Participants should bring their own compasses, though simple, Brunton-mirrored compasses are provided if needed.

1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-2F) Field Exercise
4WD 102
Ken Boell, Karl Ritchey, Dan Griffin and Chad Schroll
This field exercise is designed for those just beginning their off-road experience. Attendees will participate in a driving course. Concepts and equipment demonstrated will include: off camber, water bars, suspension flex, brake modulation, obstacle negotiation, hill climb and descent. Confidence-building and self-extraction will be emphasized. This class is limited to 20 vehicles. Gloves and rain-gear are encouraged.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-3Fa) Field Exercise
Essential Mounted SAR Navigation — Map and Compass
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
Armed with a competent working knowledge of the use of map and compass, in this field exercise, participants will follow a challenging orienteering course in small teams while mounted.

Water Rescue

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1G)
An Informed Discussion of the OSHA Exemption for Public Safety Diving

Phillip Graf
After months of working with OSHA, Phil (on Mark Phillips’ behalf) will present, in a discussion format, his findings and the answers to a number of questions regarding OSHA and public-safety diving. You might be surprised!

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (2G)
Submerged Vehicles: Procedures and Risks
Jerry Richert
In this session, Captain Richert will demonstrate the procedures and risks involved while working with submerged vehicles. This session will include a classroom discussion, followed by a non-diving hands-on field exercise.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-3G) Field Exercise
Submerged Vehicles: Procedures and Risks
Continuing from the classroom session, Captain Richert will demonstrate the procedures and risks of working with submerged vehicles in this non-diving hands-on field exercise. Long pants and work gloves are encouraged.

Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015

EVENING: Northwest SARCon Banquet

5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Camp Kuratli Activity Center
Doors open at 5 p.m.
Dinner served at 6 p.m.
Entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m.
Come and celebrate with your friends and colleagues at the annual Northwest SARCon banquet. This catered event will be serving an impressive buffet dinner and a no-host bar. After a relaxing dinner, sit back and enjoy entertainment from Hart Keene, Magician & Illusionist. Your name badge will be required to enter the banquet. For those who purchased additional banquet tickets, you may pick up your guest’s badge at the Registration table on the day of the event.

SAR Management

9:00 a.m. –10:30 a.m. (4A)
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (5A)
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (6A)
Overview of Search Theory and its Application to Land Search
Donald C. Cooper, PhD, MBA
This presentation is a three-part continuous classroom series that aims to familiarize search planners and managers with:
(1) the science of search theory as it relates to land search; and
(2) the role of each of the three primary elements of search theory: probability of area (POA), probability of detection (POD), and probability of success (POS).
The proper application of search theory can be a powerful tool in planning and managing a search. This presentation will expose participants to a well-tested, practical methodology that leverages the science of search theory to achieve success quickly in a search. These sessions range from Intermediate to Advanced, and though primarily for search planners and managers, they may also be beneficial to field searchers.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (5Ab)
Animal Rescue for SAR Teams
Oregon Humane Society Technical Animal Rescue Team
In this session, the Oregon Humane Society Technical Animal Rescue team will demonstrate how to approach a scared/injured animal, introduce participants to dog body language, explain dog safety and handling, explain hasty harness for dogs, and demonstrate high-angle setup using the gear a SAR team would already have on-hand.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (7A)
Developing and Using Checklists in SAR
Tygh Thompson
Checklists are used in aviation, medicine, education and even home repair. Well-written checklists can guide routine and emergency operations to ensure critical steps are performed or performed in the proper sequence. Checklists have many applications in SAR -- from field operations to search management. But a checklist has to be properly written and evaluated for it to be useful. This course will teach the basics of how to develop and use a proper checklist, how to evaluate its effectiveness, and how to keep it current. Several examples will be provided.


9:00 -10:30 a.m. (4B) Classroom
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (FE-5B) Field Exercise
Survival Basics for the SAR Responder
Brett Stoffel
"Survival Basics for SAR Responders" is a mix of essential knowledge and practical skills that responders must have to adequately safeguard themselves and their potential missing, injured or incapacitated subjects in all environments. Students should bring any survival gear they wish to evaluate and appropriate gear to spend the day outdoors, as well as lunch and adequate hydration for the field exercise.
Subjects covered include, but will not be limited to: survival myths and misconceptions; building a personal survival kit; equipment recommendations; and resources, tips, and tricks for immediate action shelter (personal protection for you and someone injured); clothing-system tips; jargon and nomenclature for outdoor garments; fail-proof fire-craft for extreme environments (one-handed techniques and other tips); expedient rope, knot and lash skills; nutritional requirements for arduous SAR missions; and signaling basics and types of signaling devices.

9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (FE-4B) Field Exercise
PAARC: Practical Application of Anchors, Rigging and Changeovers
Patrick Bentley and Eric Gunnerson
This field-exercise session takes participants in real-time through setting up and taking down rope-system rigging -- from the anchors down to the patient and all that goes in-between. Instructors will assist class participants as they work on various inclines. The focus in the field exercise for this class is to get practice setting up real systems while working with other SAR personnel you may have never met before. Topics will include: anchors and rigging plates, various belay devices, super Munter, bowline (single and interlocking), backing up anchors, 30-second changeovers (lower to raise, raise to lower), and how to construct a Voo-Doo system. Class size is limited to 25 participants. Basic PPE is required: helmet, harness, gloves, and 3 carabineers.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (5B)
Movement Screening -- A Compass for SAR Fitness
Matt Marino
This session will cover the concept of "movement screening" and its amazing utility. SAR wouldn’t exist without people getting lost or needing help of some kind. Similarly, the human body can sometimes lose its ability to move well and needs help finding its way back to quality movement. Injury, disuse, aging and many other factors contribute to the development of poor movement patterns that elevate our risk for injury and prevent us from reaching our true potential. Just like a good compass, movement screening is fast, reliable and something that we all should check every so often. Movement-screen scores can be used to predict injury risk and quickly identify the dysfunctional movement patterns responsible for that risk so they can be corrected. Movement screen data can also be used to establish a baseline for movement quality and to quantify improvements resulting from training programs designed with screen results in mind. Movement-screen-based training programs have been shown to be effective at improving movement quality, preventing injury and improving performance. Movement screening is used by the military, law enforcement, fire departments, industrial workers and high level athletes, but the systems have tremendous potential for everyone -- including SAR personnel.

1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (6B) Classroom and Field Exercise
Map-Gridding Details for SAR Managers/Team Leaders
Brian Wheeler
This combined classroom and field exercise will demonstrate the tips for accurate and quick location plotting to/from maps using both Lat/Lon and UTM Grid Coordinates. Your ability to convert and plot these in a timely manner could be crucial to a person’s survival. Learn key differences in datums and north references and which to use in varying applications -- along with how to properly deal with GPS inaccuracies and how to find the “needle in the haystack” with GPS (field application during this session). You will also learn how to “marry the data” between all navigation tools to ensure they all speak the same language. If you have incomplete grid data re: your subject’s whereabouts, discussions will include how to plot that person accurately on your maps, given your current details.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (7B)
SAM Splint, Duct Tape and Safety Pins = Your Survival Kit for the Outdoors
Dr. Sam Scheinberg and Cherrie Scheinberg
In this session, Scheinberg, the inventor of the SAM Splint, will present an interactive training on the SAM Splint for fracture-care basics with some added fun. The participant who attends this session and comes up with the best or most unusual use of the SAM Splint and present it during this session will win a $100 cash prize!


9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (4C)
"Got Gas?" A Review of the Mt. Hood Rescues from Volcanic Fumaroles and the Subsequent Air-Monitoring Program Developed by Portland Mountain Rescue
David Clarke
Volcanic gas vents, or "fumaroles," are well-known, transient features on Mt. Hood. In 2014 and 2015, they opened up below the main climbing route. Two climbers fell and ended up in the fumaroles, requiring rescue. Portland Mountain Rescue (PMR) members entered the fumarole and successfully rescued the subjects. However, it was recognized that PMR took an unknown risk by entering a potentially hazardous atmosphere. Subsequently, PMR developed procedures and purchased air-monitoring equipment. This presentation will describe the evolution of this process focusing on the human factors and decision-making that led to their current program.

11:00 – 12:30 p.m. (5C)
SAR UAV Adoption and Uses (Repeat)

Lawrence Dennis
Please see session 3C for description.

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (6C)
Deployment of Technology in SAR Organizations

Jeff Beckman
In this session, Beckman, Operation Leader for the San Diego Mountain Rescue Team, will give an overview of the recent history of technology deployment in SAR organizations. Beckman will discuss some foreseen and unforeseen challenges with software, hardware, policies and personnel. This session will be repeated Sunday from 9 - 10:30 a.m.

1:30 – 3:30 p.m. (FE-6C) Field Exercise
SAR UAV Field Demonstration
Lawrence Dennis
In this field exercise, Aerial Technology International (ATI) will demonstrate some of their drone technology.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (7C)
Terrain-Based Probability for SAR
Matt Jacobs
Even though terrain can be important in determining subject behavior, its impact is often misunderstood or subject to personal intuition. Recent research has helped to quantify its effects and provide an evidence-based standard for assigning POA to streams, ridges and other terrain features. In this session, come learn about these new findings, as well as the implications for some commonly accepted search-management practices.


9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (4D)
Patient Packaging for SAR Missions
Robert Glaeser
After you have located your subject and determined their injuries, how do you get them safely out if they can’t walk? This class focuses on how to “package” a person in a litter so they can be safely evacuated. Learn how to use internal lashing, insulation, weatherproofing, and litter-rigging to ensure your patient is warm, secure, comfortable, and easily accessible for medical evaluation within a litter. Also covered will be basic use of SKED and Stokes litters, basic knots and carrying techniques. Application of these techniques will be useful in the medical scenarios that follow. This session is eligible for continuing-education credit.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (5D) NW Environmental Illness and Injuries
Garin Duffield
Outdoor recreation in the Pacific Northwest often produces a set of common injuries and illnesses -- chief among which are heat and cold illness, altitude illness, crush injuries, altitude-related conditions, anaphylaxis and dermatological conditions. This is a great session for any hiker, climber, or skier, as well as rescuers. These topics will be addressed so that anyone can recognize, understand, and treat these commonly seen injury patterns. What is high-altitude pulmonary edema and what is its ultimate treatment? Come find out in this session. This session is eligible for continuing-education credit.

1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-6D) Field Exercise
Patient Assessment in a SAR Environment
Joe Rabinowitz and AMR Staff
You’ve attended the sessions "Patient Assessment in a SAR Environment," "Fracture and Dislocation Management for Lost Subjects and Searcher," "Patient Packaging for SAR Missions," and "NW Environmental Illness and Injuries." Now, learn how to actually do what you have been taught. This field exercise is a great opportunity to get "hands-on" with a variety of medical skills. Taught by paramedics and in an outside environment, you will triage, assess, treat, splint, package, communicate, and end up with more confidence in your medical skills.
Have you ever taken a blood pressure, given epinephrine, or tested a blood sugar? No? In addition, this session will teach the novice these skills -- and will serve as a great review for BLS providers working in the wilderness. You do not need to attend any classroom sessions to participate, but it is strongly recommended. Please dress appropriately for the weather. This session is eligible for continuing-education credit.


See Friday, Sept. 25 for K9 session descriptions.

Enhanced SAR

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (4F)
4WD 201
Ken Boell, Karl Ritchey, Dan Griffin and Chad Schroll
In this advanced session, Boell, Ritchey, Griffin and Schroll will discuss environmental factors affecting 4WD SAR operations -- including mud, snow, ice, sand, rocks and water crossings. They will also discuss vehicle inspection, maintenance and spare parts. Participants will have the opportunity to see a tire-plug demonstration, and an exercise will follow.

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (4Fa)
Essential Mounted SAR Equipment
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
Many mounted teams struggle to find the best equipment for both equine and rider. In this 90-minute indoor demonstration, Adams and Beardsley will show examples of ideal equipment. This session also includes a short segment on radio protocol.

9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (4Fb)
Jeff Salzer and Aaron Markham
In this session, Salzer will be discussing recommended and required equipment for the searcher and ATV, advanced riding techniques, and uses of the ATV on search missions. This session is for beginners to advanced riders. No equipment needed. Open attendance.

11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (FE-5F) Field Exercise
4WD 202
Ken Boell, Karl Ritchey, Dan Griffin and Chad Schroll
In this advanced field exercise, participants will learn how to set tire pressure and about picking lines and spotting. Advanced recovery, tow points and problem-solving will also be demonstrated and practiced. Bring lunch and adequate hydration. This class is limited to 20 vehicles. Gloves and rain-gear are encouraged.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (FE-5Fa) Field Exercise
EMSAR Formational Riding and Clue Finding
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
In this field exercise, participants will refine their horsemanship skills while riding in a variety of formations while honing their clue-finding skills, all mounted.

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (6F)
Helicopter Safety and Landing Zone Training
Life Flight Network and the 304th Rescue Squadron
In this joint presentation -- taught by Life Flight Network and the Air National Guard 304th Rescue Squadron-- iinstructors will discuss air medical transport, including landing-zone selection, preparation and protection. They will also include information regarding safety around the helicopter and types of patients flown. The field-exercise section of this session is
call-out dependent; if a helicopter is available, patient loading will be demonstrated and practiced. Eye protection is recommended for this session.

1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-6F) Field Exercise
ATVs in SAR Field Applications
Jeff Salzer and Aaron Markham
In this field exercise, participants will be putting to use what was discussed it the classroom session. This will be a hands-on demonstration of advanced riding techniques, stuck vehicle extractions, search techniques, and subject transport. PPE is required -- approved DOT helmet, eye protection, long-sleeve shirt, long pants, and leather gloves -- as well as your own ATV to use during the class. Limited to 10 students.

1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-6Fa) Field Exercise
EMSAR Search Techniques
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
Until recently, mounted search techniques were just modelled after ground-pounder search. Not anymore! Adams and Beardsley will encourage you to experiment with their models to find what works best for your team. This includes hasty, line, night, and containment search models. This session is 3 hours long and begins in the classroom and ends mounted in the field. This session will also include a short segment on Incident Command structure (NIMS ICS).

After the NW SARCon Banquet (2-3 hours):

ATV in SAR: Night Applications
Jeff Salzer and Aaron Markham
This evening course will take place after the banquet for 2-3 hours. We will be riding the ATVs to an offsite area where you will be able to practice some technical riding skills and search techniques in a nighttime environment. This will be a hands-on demonstration and PPE is required -- approved DOT helmet, eye protection, long-sleeve shirt, long pants, and leather gloves -- as well as an ATV to use during the class along with some kind of good lighting. Limited to 10 students.

Night Ride
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
Participants will have an opportunity to test out some new equipment and techniques while experiencing a short ride after dark.  

Water Rescue

9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (4G)
Homicidal Drownings
Andrea Zaferes
More than 50% of body-found-in-water (BFIW) cases that end in homicide convictions originally were diagnosed as accidental or suicidal drownings. Learn why we are missing more BFIW homicides than we’re catching -- and what we can do to change those odds.
This workshop will cover how and why drowning incidents are typically not treated like other death scenes by law enforcement, death investigators and dive-team personnel -- and will provide practical, proven procedures to catch homicide red flags. Learn what questions to ask, what evidence to collect, how to process a BFIW scene, and how to create court-ready documentation.
Topics to be covered include:

Attendees can take the classroom session alone or can take both the classroom and hands-on field exercise session (FE-6G). The classroom session is a prerequisite for the hands-on field exercise session (FE-6G).

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-4G)
Swiftwater Awareness
Nate Thompson and Adam Tingey
Many search operations take place near some sort of waterway. It is highly beneficial for the search-and-rescue professional to have a basic awareness of water safety for themselves and/or search partners and victims. This full-day field exercise will cover the basics of specialized equipment, water hydrology, and basic self/partner rescue techniques. This course will involve swimming and the navigation of difficult terrain. Specialized equipment such as dry-suits, thermals, gloves, PFD, helmet and shoes are required. Students are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Please indicate sizes needed at registration if you will need loaner equipment. Bring lunch and adequate hydration for the field. This field exercise is limited to 12 participants.

1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-6G) Field Exercise
Homicidal Drownings
Andrea Zaferes
This hands-on workshop will apply what was learned in the classroom to two actual cases. Students will work the case from the body recovery through the scene investigation and processing, witness-interviewing, and making court-ready documentation. Classroom session 4G is a prerequisite for this hands-on field exercise.

Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015

SAR Management

9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (8A)
Management of Avalanche Rescue or Recovery
Craig McClure and Eduardo Cartaya
Large-scale avalanche rescue is a unique and complex event. We will review well-established processes and checklists to help safely and effectively manage and execute the avalanche mission. Then we will utilize these well-established processes and checklists while executing a live roleplay tabletop exercise. This will be a dynamic exercise designed to provide awareness and experience.

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (10A)
Search Area Segmenting for SAR Coordinators
Corey Stone
This class will explore considerations that must be made when creating “searchable segments” for ground teams. Key items will be: natural segment borders, artificial segment borders, manmade segment borders, segment size related to resource capability, segment size and POD for a limited resource, searcher safety, terrain, vegetation, other hazards (snow, ice, and crevasses), and time necessary to search in daylight. Students will be shown examples for actual search maps and given a mathematical reference table for estimating appropriate search areas by resource level. Different tools for estimating land areas will be shown including MyTopo Terrain Navigator, which will be demonstrated to show how to determine the land area on any shape segment.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (11A)
An Inside Look into SAR Coordination for Searchers and Non-Coordinators
Corey Stone
In this session, Stone will give attendees an insight into common aspects of search coordination and the theory and science that goes into search planning. The discussion will begin with the initial call and progress to the mission resolution or suspension. Topics will emphasize aspects of search planning and operations that are typically out of sight to the searcher.


9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (FE-8B) Field Exercise
Standing on One Leg -- The Use of Monopods in Rescue Operations
Marcel Rodriguez
Artificial High Directional (AHD) anchors can greatly enhance the safety and comfort of technical rope rescue operations. Teams working in backcountry settings generally cannot haul a full tripod system to a remote rescue site. This hands-on session will take a detailed look into the use of monopods (both commercial and improvised) in rescue operations. The session will cover sighting, anchoring, and rigging monopods for various rescue scenarios. This is an intermediate/advanced session, geared towards rescuers with a good knowledge of rope rescue operations.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (9B) Classroom
1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-10B) Field Exercise
Introduction to Land Navigation with GPS
Blake Miller
A hands-on, real-time button-pushing class where students learn the basic operating features of handheld GPS receivers. The classroom focus is placed on the practical aspects of the GPS system and how to properly set up individual units for field operations. The class discusses common mistakes and lessons learned from different experiences in the backcountry. The field practical exercise combines key features of the GPS receiver to successfully navigate, mark waypoints, and use the track log. Additionally, the field exercise demonstrates the critical need to correlate both the GPS unit with a map and compass. Tabletop and field exercises are linked to topographic maps and associated grid system. Students must bring their personal GPS receiver for this class.

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (10B)
The Injuries Inside: Imaging of the Subjects Fractures and Dislocations in SAR
Deb Cherachanko
In this session, Cherachanko -- a Chiropractic Physician and Skeletal Radiologist -- will present common fractures and dislocations in search and rescue and how they impact packaging and transport.


9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (8C)
Deployment of Technology in SAR Organizations (Repeat)
Jeff Beckman
See session 6C for description.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (9C)
Bridging the Gap: 911 and SAR
Michelle Renault
Ever wondered how 911 actually works? Or how it's involved in search and rescue? In this session, Hood River County 911 Supervisor Michelle Renault will explain how 911 calls are received and what information is provided to the dispatcher. You will have the opportunity to listen to an actual 911 call for service on a search and rescue. Renault will discuss the differences between large 911 centers and small centers and their actual responsibilities, and will recommend ideas for working with your own center and discuss training opportunities for both to provide a better response.

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (10C)
How to Install Radios and Antennas
Tygh Thompson
Communications provides a critical link in every SAR mission. This course will explain how you can easily install radios and antennas and other electronics to get the maximum performance from each. Several examples will demonstrate creative ideas to make the best use of space in vehicles when mounting electronics.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (11C)
Globalstar’s New Generation 2 Satellite Network, Modernizing Data Communications: From Enhanced GPS-Based Messaging to Bluetooth-Connected Solutions & Broadband Solutions
Donnie Hatch
In this session, Hatch will demonstrate the data capabilities enabled by Globalstar’s Gen. 2 satellite network and flexible Internet Protocol multimedia configuration -- as well as solutions to include GPS integrated 2-way messaging, mobile satellite wifi, asset and workforce tracking, group talk/multicasting, broadband internet multi-band handsets and more, from virtually anywhere. This session will also feature a postmortem/overview of the Globalstar Gen. 1 satellite constellation.


9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (8D)
Bleeding: Trauma Management in the Field (Repeat)
304th Rescue Squadron
In most situations, uncontrolled bleeding can lead to serious consequences for search and rescue. This session will teach how to control trauma and bleeding in a field environment. Techniques and treatments will be explored, and field-tested methods will be revealed by the elite military medics of the 304th Rescue Squadron. The Air Force Pararescuemen will be available to demonstrate their skills and explore different options to treating trauma in the field.

11:00 – 12:30 p.m. (9D)
Toxic! Dangerous Plants and Animals in the NW
Joe Rabinowitz
Making a stew from that wild parsnip you found in the canyon? Think again. People have been poisoned by the closely related look-alike Poison-hemlock. This new session will explore some of the most common toxic plants, fungi, and animals found in our region, how they poison us, and what you can (hopefully) do about it. This session is eligible for continuing-education credit.

1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-10D) Field Exercise
Wilderness Rescue Mission: Medical Treatment in a SAR
Joe Rabinowitz and AMR Staff
All the skills students have learned in the earlier sessions and field-exercise scenario will be brought to bear in this dynamic mini-rescue scenario in the woods. Students will organize into teams to locate, assess, treat, and package injured patients. Surprisingly realistic, this drill is a great opportunity to practice your skills in real time so that when you deploy into the field you will be prepared. Radio communications will be provided for medical support if needed. Dress appropriately for the weather. A small backpack is also recommended. This session is eligible for continuing-education credit.


See Friday, Sept. 25 for K9 session descriptions.

Enhanced SAR

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (8F)
EMSAR Patient Packaging and Transport
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
This session is for teams that may find themselves potentially transporting subjects from the backcountry on horseback. Learn to assess the appropriateness of horseback transport, appropriate packaging, and best practices for loading, travelling, and unloading patients from equines. This course will be half in classroom, half outside, and participants will use instructors' horses for field practice.

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (FE-8F) Field Exercise
ATVs in SAR Advanced Ride
Jeff Salzer and Aaron Markham
In this field-exercise session, participants will be traveling to a local OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle) park so we can apply what was learned in the previous sessions, which will allow students to practice their skills in a less controlled/confined environment. Full SAR gear will be required for this session, including PPE -- approved DOT helmet, eye protection, long sleeve shirt, long pants, and leather gloves -- as well as GPS, FRS radio and ATV. Participants will be responsible for transporting their ATVs to the riding area. Limited to 10 students.

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (FE-9F) Field Exercise
4WD 203
Ken Boell, Karl Ritchey, Dan Griffin and Chad Schroll
In this field exercise, participants will use this scenario-based application of learned concepts to stabilize vehicles and allow safe extrication of vehicles, depending on time allowed.
Bring lunch and adequate hydration for the field. This class is limited to 20 vehicles. Gloves and rain-gear are encouraged.

11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (FE-10F) Field Exercise
EMSAR Mock Search and Rescue
Laurie Adams, Kate Beardsley
In this mock search-and-rescue operation, participants will be putting it all together. Participants will be involved with everything from Incident Command details to search assignments. This session is all field exercise.

Water Rescue

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  (FE-8G) Field Exercise
Shallow Water Crossing
Nate Thompson and Adam Tingey

Many search operations take place near some sort of waterway, and often involve moving across small streams. This class will teach searchers safe techniques for crossing small streams and rivers. Students can learn what their limitations are when it comes to crossing moving water at different depths and either solo or in groups. This full-day field exercise will cover the basics of self/partner/group river crossing, water hydrology, and self-rescue techniques. This course will involve swimming and the navigation of difficult terrain. Specialized equipment such as dry suits, thermals, gloves, PFD, helmet and shoes are required. Students are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Please indicate sizes needed at registration if loaner equipment is needed. This field exercise is limited to 12 students. The Swiftwater Awareness course presented on Saturday, September 26, is a prerequisite for this course. Having participated in "Swiftwater Awareness" in past Northwest SARCons also applies as a prerequisite.

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (8G)
A Review of the Hagg Lake Drownings: Multiple People at Once
Jerry Roley
In 2012 at Henry Hagg Lake in Washington County, Oregon, a popular outdoor recreational area for families, 8 children were drowning at the same time, underwater and not visible. Fortunately, all of these children were rescued and revived. In 2014, a second family of four drowned and died at the scene. In this presentation, Washington County Sheriff’s Office Marine Deputy Jerry Roley will discuss the causes of these two incidents, the aftermath of such tragedy, the public outcry, and what changes have been made for the future.

 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (9G)
Improving Risk Management for Public Safety Divers and Water Response Teams -- A Practical Approach
Phillip Graf
In this presentation, we will explore and define "risk" and "risk management" as it applies to public-safety diving -- and better identify exactly what “risk vs. benefit” is, and why we do it wrong. We will discuss and present a practical approach to lessening risk and improving the safety of your water-response teams, utilizing specific skillsets and training that have little or zero cost.

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (10G)
Victim Retrieval and Body Refloat
Jerry Richert
In this session, Richert will discuss the dive rescue team's ability to skillfully execute victim retrieval, as well as its profound effect on the family and community. Actual images from cases will be used in this session and are graphic in nature.

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Northwest SARCon

Sheriff Craig Roberts

Sheriff Craig Roberts

2015 Northwest SARCon
Sept. 25-27, 2015

Camp Kuratli at Trestle Glen
24751 SE Hwy 224
Boring, OR 97009

Julie Collinson, Conference Coordinator
Phone: 503-557-5827
Fax: 503-794-8068

Register online